Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday lashed out at critics of a memorandum of understanding on maritime borders signed last week between Ankara and the Tripoli-based internationally recognized government of Libya.
“This step is a sovereign right of Libya and Turkey,” Erdogan told journalists in Ankara as he prepared to leave for a NATO summit in London, according to Agence-France Presse (AFP).
“We will not debate this sovereign right with you. We will tell them this openly,” AFP reported him as saying in reference to Turkey’s NATO allies.
The details of the agreement with the government of Fayed al-Sarraj have not been released publicly, though it is seen as an attempt by Ankara to claim rights over a large area of the Eastern Mediterranean, including parts that fall within Greece’s maritime jurisdiction.
Turkish media said Ankara would provide the United Nations with the coordinates of its new “exclusive economic zone” once the relevant law has been passed by its parliament, AFP reported.
Erdogan’s comments come a day before he is due to hold informal talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitostakis in London.